Firstly we need to understand what metabolism is and then can we have a picture of how metabolism effects weight loss . Metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself. Whether you are eating, drinking, sleeping, cleaning etc… your body is constantly burning calories to keep you going.
Metabolism is affected by your body composition i.e. the amount of muscle you have versus the amount of fat. Muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat. People who are more muscular… (and have a lower percentage of body fat) are said to have a higher metabolism than others that are less muscular. For example, lets take two people who are the exact same height and weight. One exercises on a regular basis with weights, in addition to aerobic exercise, and has a low percentage of body fat. The other never exercises and has a higher percentage of body fat. The first person who exercises will have a higher metabolism than the second person. The reason is that even when person 1is not exercising his body continues to burn calories because of the muscle to fat ratio difference. Where as person 2 will not have any increase in the metabolic rate. What this basically means is that person 1′s body will use more calories to sustain itself than person 2.
As you begin to age, your metabolism has a natural tendency to start slowing. There are some easy to follow, simple tricks that can help you to eliminate body fat, improve your flab-burning metabolic process, and start losing weight fast even before you start exercising.
Here are some easy tips that can change you into a fat burning machine
Stop Dieting and Start Exercising
It isn’t about eating less, it’s about eating more nutrition-dense food, to keep you full all day. Restricting food will kill your metabolism or slow it down. It makes our body think, am i starving here. The body responds to it by slowing down the metabolism in order to slowly spend the existing energy packets.
This means that your body starts to consume less calories and store more.
Build some Muscles
Rev up your metabolism by doing some resistance exercises like weightlifting, hand lifting etc. Also you can decrease body fat by doing some aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, jogging, dancing, walking . Muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat thus increasing your metabolism or calorie consumption increases.
Go to Bed Early
A research suggests that people who slept less and were under more stress had more body fat than people who slept properly.
Eat Protein Rich Food
The faster your metabolism works the more fat you will burn and the slower your metabolism the more fat you will store. Eating protein is a good way to increase metabolism, especially since the body burns more calories to digest protein than it does digesting carbs or sugars.
Go Organic Whenever Possible
The accumulation of toxins in the body slows down the metabolism because the body has to work extra hard to eliminate these toxins on a daily basis. So going on a organic diet leads to less toxins in the body in the form of pesticides. Going the organic way is always a healthier option.
Get Up and Move a Little
Whether you sit or stand at work may play as big a role in your health and your waistline as your fitness routine. Researchers suggest that inactivity for 4 hours or more causes a slowdown in an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism. Stand up from your desk and walk around the office, go up and down the stairs a few times. If you use these little bursts of energy throughout the day then your metabolism will stay revved up and you’ll keep burning more calories.
Drink Cold Water
Researchers found that drinking 1 liter of cold water a day can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature. Start drinking cold water to accelerate your metabolism to up to 30%.
Eat Some Hot Food
Eating hot food can also fire up your metabolism. Eating red or green chilies boosts your body’s production of heat and the activity of your sympathetic nervous system (responsible for our fight-or-flight response), according to a research. If they’re hot enough they’ll rev your metabolism into high level and you’ll break a sweat!
Dont Skip Breakfast
Eating breakfast jump-starts metabolism and keeps energy high all day. Eat often because that will keep your metabolism pumping all day long, and when you eat many small meals through the day you tend to eat
less at one time, which puts less burden on your digestive system and lets it work more efficiently.
Drink Coffee or Tea
Women metabolize caffeine about 25 percent faster than men. Metabolic rate remains highest during the first three hours following consumption of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases heart rate and mental acuity. While the blood pumps faster, the metabolic rate increases. While tea can increase your metabolism by 12% according to a research. Researchers believe the antioxidant catechins in tea provide the boost.
Fight Fat with Fiber
Fiber can raise your fat burn by about 30 percent. Research has found that those who eat the more fiber gain the least weight over time. Aim for about three servings each of fruits and vegetables a day. Fiber leads to a less calorie intake which lessens the calorie count.
Eat Iron-Rich Foods
Iron is essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat. Unless you have a consistent diet of this mineral you will have a slow metabolism. Lean meats, beans and spinach are excellent sources. Get this essential mineral in natural doses from real foods.
There’s some evidence that calcium deficiency may slow metabolism. Research shows that consuming calcium in dairy foods such as fat-free milk and low-fat yogurt may also reduce fat absorption from other
Dont Get Stressed
Research says that being stressed out causes high levels of a hormone called cortisol in your body, which leads to belly fat . Relax and let go the extra kilos!
All of our body’s basic reactions, including our metabolism, depend on water. If you are dehydrated, you may be burning lesser calories, according to researchers. In the study, those who drank more glasses of water a day had higher metabolic rates than those who had fewer.
At last eat metabolism boosting foods like Apple, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, papaya, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, garlic, onions, mangoes, cucumber, cauliflower, carrots and avocados. These fruits and vegetables belong to the negative calorie list of foods that will help you boost your metabolism.
Its a common misconception that sweating helps you get fit. But that’s not really true. You sweat because its a mechanism for your body to cool down. So, you may weigh up to 1 kg less after an intense, sweaty workout because you’ve lost water weight. You will gain back all of that weight once you start eating and re-hydrate yourself. The key to losing weight and getting in better shape, is reducing the fat content in your body.
For years people have tried to use sweat suits, steam rooms and sauna belts to lose weight. We find it hilarious that people believe those sauna belt ads for weight loss. Excessive use of these might be unhealthy as over sweating can lead to dehydration and its effects. In fact, its always recommended to keep drinking fluids as you sweat. Keeping your hydration levels up helps you perform better.
The best way to get fit and reduce fat is to perform a mix of cardiovascular exercises (like running, cycling, etc) and weight lifting, with a balanced diet. So, work up a sweat, and ensure you hydrate yourself.
In the previous article, we focused on the nutrition before a marathon or a long run to help you build your stamina and perform better. Here, we’ll focus on the nutrition during the run.
Don’t laugh at the idea of nutrition during a marathon- its inconsequential for a short run, but for long runs like marathons its essential to keep focus on it.
1. Sip water before: Right before the run, you might feel a little thirsty. Sip on some water, but ensure that you don’t drink too much. At the max- half a glass. Else it will sit in your belly and weight you down while you run.
2. Hydration: During the run, at the water stops, keep sipping water. Research your marathon route well so you know where the water stops are, and train your body accordingly. Optimum hydration helps your muscles perform better- with stamina and speed.
3. Sports Drinks: Electrolyte based drinks like Gatorade are available at water stops. These drinks contain simple sugars and salts, so they provide instant energy as well as hydration. Long duration of exercise depletes the salt compound levels in your body. The electrolyte based drink replenish these replenish these salt compound levels to keep you going for longer. Like water, don’t drink too much, else it will sit in your belly.
4. Energy Gels: For long runs like marathons, your body can require over 5000 calories. Since you can’t eat that many calories in your pre run meal, many long distance runners carry energy gels with them. These energy gels contain electrolytes and simple carbohydrates to provide instant energy. When you feel like your running out of energy, pop open a gel pack. It contains fast dissolving carbohydrates that give you instant energy and keep you going.
After a marathon, your body has taken a pounding so ensure that you provide it with the right nutrition to replenish your muscles. Have some quick dissolving simple carbohydrates like candy bars, or fruits like banana. Low fat food is better, since its promotes faster digestion and quicker absorption of nutrients into your muscles. Ensure you hydrate well and give your body some much needed rest.
There are plenty of marathons and long distance running events (list of running events in India). You might be training for it, or probably know someone who is. As important as training for it is, its equally important to get your nutrition right. Incorrect nutrition can complete destroy your performance.
Here are some nutrition tips that help you build stamina and improve performance.
We’ll break the nutrition down into 2 parts based on its timing- The first one is before the run, and the second is during and after the run. Here we’ll focus on the nutrition before the run. We personally rate the nutrition before the run as the most important, since it lays the foundations for your energy requirements:
1. Dinner: On the night before the big run, have a carbohydrate rich dinner, like pasta or rice. The surplus carbohydrates are stored in your body and are used to supply glycogen to your muscles during the run.
2. Hydration: About 1.5 hours before the run, drink a litre of water. This water will hydrate your body. The timing is important, since it gives your body enough time to process the water out. That way, you’re standing at the start line, not the line for the toilets.
3. Pre Run Breakfast: Breakfast anyway rules as the most important meal of the day. On your run day, its even more important since you need it to fuel you through the run. Eat a good breakfast with lots of slow release carbohydrates, some protein and low fat. Eat this meal atleast 45-60 minutes before the run. An example would be oatmeal with low fat milk and a banana. Fast release carbohydrates (sugary) are not recommended since it can cause a sugar low, and impede performance at the start of the race. Some protein is good to feed your muscles. Fat free is not important, but low fat is- Fat takes longer to digest so it will sit in your belly, make you feel heavy, and affect your performance.
4. Vitamin B: Pop a Vitamin B with your pre marathon breakfast. Your body uses Vitamin B to produce energy. For long runs and workouts, your body needs to produce extra energy and stamina, and a Vitamin B will help with that.
5. Sleep: Last but not the least, get 8-9 hours of sleep before your run. Sleep has lots of benefits. Your body should be completely well rested to perform in a long run.
We took part in the Great Delhi Run in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2008 on Sunday, Nov 9, 2008 in New Delhi. Was that an experience!
We’ve participated in multiple runs and athletic events across the world. If we were to sum up our experience at this event, it was less of an athletic event, and more of a branding event for Airtel. To let it lose, it was a sham of an athletic event. Lets see why:
Advertising, everywhere: Since they advertised so aggressively for it, they were probably trying to recover some money- in the process, the event was overloaded with corporate advertisement. There were people carrying huge Airtel hoardings, blocking the whole route, so if you were behind them, there was no way to cross them. DHL was advertising some ‘jumbo box‘ of there’s, so they had a bunch of people taking up the route again.
Like this, there were multiple companies trying to advertise- huge hoardings, noisy slogans, very intrusive and in your face advertising. So, if you were at the event for anything besides a leisurely walk, it was a disaster. We were planning to run in the Great Delhi Run, and it was a frustrating experience.
Event Organization: The organization was bad. First, we could not locate the starting area. Then, there weren’t enough organizers to answer questions, or enough directions pointing you to the Start. Once you cross the start line, there were thousands of people taking part so it took a while to start running. We got to the event at 9.20 a.m for a 9.30 start time. We could only cross the start line at 9.58 a.m! The passage ways were so narrow for the number of people participating, that there was no chance of moving fast.
Volunteers: The volunteers for the event were trying to cheer on, but some of them were so enthusiastic in their cheering, that they were on the running route, which was anyway crowded with participants and advertisers!
Distance Markers: The distance markers were not visible with the crowd. In fact, even after running it, we’re not sure of the distance we ran. We estimate it at 6-6.5 km.
More Issues: Then there were water stops, handing out water bottles. Some of them were so enthusiastic, that they were in the middle of the track. The streets were strewn with plastic bottles. To clean them up, poor kids were running across the track while the event was on. Then, there were cops in the middle of the route trying to keep it secure, but also coming in the way of runners. So, it was less of a run, and more of an obstacle course.
Post Run Issues: Post the run, the food lines were incredibly long, so many people left without getting any food after the run. We couldn’t find any buses to take you back to the parking lots, so we had to cab it.
The only upside was that there were people on the side who had come to watch and cheer people on!
Learnings from the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon event:
If you plan to participate in the Delhi Half Marathon event in 2009, please learn from our experience and take this tips:
- Get there at least 1.5 hours before time, to ensure you have time to park, commute to the event, find the start line, and get there early enough, so you’re not stuck behind the advertisers, and slogan shouters. Since you will get there early, carry some food and drink with you, to ensure you have enough energy and are properly hydrated.
- Take part in the half marathon instead of the Dream Run (or the Great Delhi Run), if you want to really participate and be able to run.
And last but not the least, don’t have any expectations from the event.
Running Tips, Run better- Part 1
Loads of people are training for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. But here is some information that will help you run better. When most people who don’t run hear the term ‘running better’, they look skeptical, assuming that running is a very natural movement and that it should be quite easy. But you’ll be surprised to know how small running tips and changes can make a big difference not just to your speed, but also prevent injuries. These tips make an even bigger difference when you’re training for an event. These tips will help improve running speed, running distance and reduce running injuries. In part 1, here are some basic but essential running tips to get you started.
1. Get energy: Running requires energy and for you to run well, you need to have energy stored in your body. So, ensure you feed yourself correctly before a run. If you run on an empty stomach, you’re body will look for energy stores within itself to get that energy. Its options are fat and muscle. First it goes after the muscle. So, by running on an empty stomach, you might be forcing your energy to cannibalize its own muscle, which clearly will not help you run faster. Now, about what you should eat- If you haven’t eaten anything and need some quick energy right before the run, eat some boiled sugar candy, jaggery or a glucose based drink. If you have say 30 minutes before your run, eat some slow burning carbohydrates like oatmeal, dalia, muesli with low fat milk or any other such breakfast cereal. Don’t overeat as it will make you feel heavy. Avoid a high fat snack right before or after the run, since fat slows absorption of nutrients into the body and before a run, you want relatively quicker absorption. So, get your nutrition right and see yourself bursting with energy
2. Hydrate well- When your body is not well hydrated, it affects your performance. To hydrate yourself well, drink water 30 minutes before your workout, the best health drink ever. Right before your run if you’re thirsty, have a glass of water, but if you drink too much, then it might sit in your belly while your running- not too much fun! And in a country like India where its so hot, its even more important to hydrate yourself properly before a run. If you need water while your running, you can run with a small bottle of water and keep sipping as you need. As you build up your running ability, your need to sip water while you run will reduce. If you can’t carry a bottle with you, then place it somewhere on your running track.
3. Wear the right clothing: As irrelevant as it seems, this can make a huge difference. Wear running shorts that are light- preferably made of material wicks sweat away from the skin. Cargo/khakhi shorts are a strict no. On top, avoid cotton tshirts for two reasons- one they can cause chaffing from all the rubbing against your skin. Nipple chaffing is a common problem among male runners who don’t wear the correct clothing. And the other reason is that cotton absorbs sweats and holds it, so it adds to the weight of the clothing. Also, it sticks to your skin. Psychologically and physically, it can affect your performance. For women, wearing a sports bra is essentail. It will make your run so much better. Ladies, invest in a few good sports bras and you’ll notice all the difference. Also, get running socks- they’re the absorbent kinds. Do not wear dress socks! Running socks help your feet get a better grip within the shoes and absorb the sweat, so no smelly feet
Now, that we’re done with the basic running tips, watch out for more running tips!